20 Oct What benefits does the QoE measure bring to content platforms?
The February 2020 edition of the Nielsen Total Audience Report highlights the importance of streaming and playback quality when it comes to the importance of video streaming attributes. One of the challenges of every OTT (Over The Top) service providers is to grow and retain their audience to ensure a return on investment (ROI). The quality of experience on a platform impacts a viewer’s perception and engagement with the brand, which impacts the overall business model.
So, measuring QoE it’s, perhaps, one of the most important KPI for the customers and, because of that, there is a direct correlation between user experience and key performance indicators like viewing hours, engagement, and profits.
A Cisco report states that, globally, consumer Internet video traffic will grow 4.3-fold from 2017 to 2022, a compound annual growth rate of 34%. Another study published in EURASIP Journal says that video streaming is becoming one of the most popular services. According to the study and others like Cisco and Akamai, video streaming will occupy more than 80% of all consumer Internet traffic by next years. This growth in demand for video streaming is leading to challenges in optimizing network resources to improve the user perceptual experience. Not in vain, 78% of the user reported that they would stop watching a video if it buffers more than three times during playback.
For businesses, this means that if there are issues in the network that lead to buffering, the data suggests that video consumption will fall. This decreases the value of the video content, directly impacting the return on investment (ROI). Businesses hope to drive from their enterprise video strategy. Thus, the future and success of companies will depend on their ability to prevent viewers from abandoning videos in between, giving them a better Quality of Experience (QoE) because what the customers say about the business affects the credibility and image of the company.
So, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) have the responsibility to manage a significant portion of the world’s video streaming traffic. At the same time, they must try to mitigate the toughest challenges of delivering video content over the internet. This situation let these organizations in a complicated stage: on the one hand, services consumption is increasing immensely, but revenues are not increasing at the same ratio. Therefore, OPEX reduction is a must, and CAPEX should be managed carefully. On the other hand, OTTs are pressing with newer services and greater customer experience. So, in short words, they need to find new ways of reducing OPEX, and CAPEX while increasing the Quality of Experience.
As we know, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,” so the first step is measure QoE, and how improve it. The next step would be to implement a framework to measure video quality and performance, not just from the viewer’s perception, but also the quality of service delivered by the components in the video delivery value chain. These steps will better engage the viewers and help organizations monetize the engagement from advertisers and subscribers to deliver a successful business impact.
Reduce OPEX, optimize CAPEX
With QoE solution and the acceptably accurate analysis available, the service provider can optimize the resources that are used for delivering the OTT Service.
As we said previously, the QoE measurement opens the doors to two main benefits: reduce OPEX and optimize CAPEX. It’s possible thanks to the identification of technical issues and the problem that causes low QoE. Once you identify them, many problems can be fixed automatically by integrating the solution with OSS (Operating Support Systems).
Sometimes it’s possible to detect problems that require human intervention. And even to detect problems before they occur. Analytical models could be used to monitor and obtain trends and patterns, and predict future concerns with QoE in some areas, or with several clusters of customers. This is very powerful information for the teams in charge of service assurance, they can reduce the cost by acting preventively.
At the same time, using analytical tools we can identify those technical parameters that impact the most over the perceived QoE. This information could be used to prioritize investments to enhance QoE.
With the right analytical techniques, broadcasters can have geographic information on QoE, and predict what will happen in certain areas. The operator could act on those areas, preventing problems in the future, and de-prioritizing investments in other areas where the situation is better.
Those benefits are accomplished among others being able to offer an excellent QoE to the customers, who will give Broadcasters their fidelity. It is normal to have the best metric regarding, for example, subscriber retention.
Identifying the causes of QoE impairments is complex, since they may arise in one or another region of the network, in the home network, on the user’s device, in servers that are part of the broadcasting / streaming application, or in supporting services such as the CDNs.
We must balance that metrics for QoE continue to evolve, as do the methods for relating QoE impairments to underlying causes that could be measurable using standard network measurement techniques. Finally, as the capabilities of the underlying network infrastructure continue to evolve, researchers should also consider how to design infrastructure and tools that can best support measurements that can better identify the locations and causes of QoE impairments. Therefore, a MOS measurement tool must be network agnostic, but able to point to the sources of underperformance including if it´s the case the network.